Businesses are getting back to work but life is very different in a post lockdown world for both for companies and their customers. As reopening commences it will take some time before operations are getting back to the levels of previous years and B2C companies in particular being able to engage fully with their customers. Taking steps now to reach out to customers will help your business get back up to speed. We look at some post lockdown tactics that can make a difference.
Keenest & Cautious Customers
Many businesses are reopening but with COVID measures, there are many differences to the way they interact with their customers particularly in retail and food. Anything from order and pay apps, to hand sanitising stations, product packages and menu changes can play a part in a customer’s decision to return.
Reports and surveys suggest that customers are happy with the precautions and protocols in place. However these first-to-returners were typically loyal customers, those who visited more frequently prior to lockdown. As the most keen and enthusiastic they were more likely to be satisfied with precautions etc, as their desire to return was the greatest. These individuals will only represent a smaller percentage of the whole so the challenge is to engage and reassure those who are more cautious or anxious about returning.
Post Lockdown Tactics & Tips
Consider your specific audience and customers and identify what their most likely concerns are. What is it that is stopping them from doing business with you. One thing that is consistently important in customers decision to return is familiarity and confidence in knowing the procedures in place
With many new and unfamiliar hoops, queues, one way systems, masks distancing measures for customers to jump through explaining your system in advance will make it seem more familiar and remove uncertainty. You can also explain why certain steps are being taken – namely to keep customers safe.
Here are some tips:
Consider segments within your customer base and address their concerns specifically. For older or vulnerable consumers, the risk of infection is going to be a major concern, so emphasising messages around high levels of hygiene will be helpful. For many who have been furloughed or feel that their employment is at risk value for money will be front of mind. Find different messages to engage with these groups
- Create blog posts to explain what your systems and procedures are. Make updates as regulations and guidelines change. Tell customers what you are doing to keep the process as smooth as possible.
- Send email to update customers
- Use social media to emphasise different aspects. Social channels are also great way to answer customer queries.
- A video clip can make explanation very easy. A visual instead of a list of measures can reassure those cautious people who are undecided.
You can ask customers directly with a poll or survey Find out what they care about most in terms of returning.
- Host links to the survey on your blog
- Post links and questions via your social channels
- Include links in email newsletters
For customers who are not ready to return promote any alternatives that are on offer. In particular many customers are most anxious about transport so for these individuals you can emphasise online shopping, online ordering and any delivery services you might offer (make a point of explaining safe practices in your delivery procedure). As before you can promote via all you digital channels.
Overall keep in touch with your customer base, familiarity is reassuring and one of the best ways to ensure your customers will return over time. Use all channels available to you so that updates can be seen in local search and social media not just you blog page or email.